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P.O. Box 53
Friendsville, MD 21531

Wild~Wild Simulated~Cultivated
In general, the older the ginseng plant, the better it is, thus wild ginseng is usually better than cultivated ginseng. The wild root contains more Ginsenosides and nutrients at higher concentration levels.

The Chinese people prefer wild ginseng over cultivated because it more closely resembles the revered wild Oriental Ginseng (Panax ginseng). The Chinese believe that the slower the root grows, and the older it is allows the root more capacity to absorb the curative powers from the forest floor.

Although there is only one species of (American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) it is marketed on both the wholesale and retail levels in a few basic categories: wild ginseng, wild simulated, woods grown, and cultivated.

          General Botanical Description of Ginseng

Wild Ginseng
Wild ginseng is found in mountainous hardwood forests and is difficult to hunt. Wild roots found in their wild habitat are usually between 10 and 30 years old. The roots are generally more knurled, exhibit noticeable growth rings on the root and the age can be verified by counting the nicks or grooves on the tassel or neck. Most wild ginseng has a pronounced tassel of growth nicks. Roots over 20 are rare, 30-40 year old roots scarce and roots over 50 years old are even rarer and are extremely precious. We have been buying and selling wild ginseng from the local mountain people and our neighbors for over 25 years. Contact us if you wish to purchase some of this rare product.

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An example of wild roots. Notice the long tassels, the growth nicks on the tassels / necks and the growth rings on the root body.

Woods Grown Wild Simulated Ginseng
The next best thing to wild ginseng is grown in the forest from the seed stock of wild ginseng. Although ginseng matures to seed bearing plants by the fourth year, most woods grown wild simulated ginseng is never harvested before six years and Harding's Ginseng is usually not dug until 8-10 years of age. Our seed, our conditions, our climate, and our expertise all combine to bring you ginseng that is potent and approaches the quality of wild.

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The key is to let the ginseng compete with the trees and rocks for nutrients and space just like the wild. This and little or no fertilization gives the roots shape and character, and the deep growth rings very similar to wild ginseng. This is quite different from the smooth skin and large root body common of forced growth cultivated ginseng.

Good quality woods grown wild simulated ginseng with verifiable growth rings and tassels or necks can be so similar to wild that you cannot tell the difference.

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Wild Simulated on the left and wild roots on the right. Notice very similar growth rings on the root body. Tassels are usually shorter on wild simulated but much longer than you find on cultivated ginseng.

Cultivated Ginseng
Artificially cultivated ginseng is usually harvested after three or four years. It is grown mostly in Wisconsin and Canada far from its native habitat. It is usually heavily fertilized to promote rapid growth, and subjected to massive doses of fungicides and pesticides. The roots are very easy to tell from wild and wild simulated-varieties being smoother, elongated and seldom 'man like'. One of the problems with buying ginseng powder or capsules is you are probably getting cultivated ginseng. You can be sure that our capsules and powder is 100% High Quality Woods Grown Wild-Simulated Ginseng Root!

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Wild -Simulated on left, notice the well defined growth rings.
Cultivated ginseng on the right.

The large farms have taken Ginseng out of its natural mountain hardwood forest habitat and developed huge fields artificially shaded. If Ginsengs healing properties are in part derived from the habitat where it naturally occurs, the healing properties of cultivated ginseng may be reduced.

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